Transcript Of Video
One of the questions that was on the quiz was, when someone shares a problem with you, do you usually offer advice whether they ask for it or not, or do you listen empathetically without helping them?
Co-dependent people are bred for this. You love to give advice, you love to help offer solutions. In fact, when someone does share a problem with you, you hear it through these very specialized ears that is saying, “Obviously, you want some help from me, that’s why you’re sharing the problem with me.”
And so, then you jump into fix it mode, you move into this place of saying, “Let me tell you how to solve your problem.” When you do that you actually come across as a know-it-all. You come across as someone who thinks that your ideas are better than everyone else’s and that they don’t have the ability to solve their own problem.
And when you’re a know-it-all and when people see you as a know-it-all, they tend not to gravitate toward you a whole lot. And then when that happens, people actually start sharing problems with you and you start to become distanced from people.
They start to pull away and it actually becomes counter-productive to what they actually want. Offering advice whether they ask for it or not does not work real well. A healthy person, a healthy person is able to, again, find the balance and figure out, do they just want me to listen empathetically? Which means, “I hurt because you hurt.” That’s empathy.
And that actually becomes probably more healing, that is more therapeutic and that creates stronger bonds and stronger friendship when you’re able to listen empathetically, and hurt because they hurt but you don’t offer solutions because, again, you don’t have the solution to everyone’s problems, nor should you. That expectation is fairly flawed.
It is expected that you’re able to sit with your friends and to connect with them and to walk through their problems with them and just be near them. But again, you’re going to trust that they can solve their own problems. Now, if they do say, “What do you think? Do you have any ideas? Can you help me?” That’s when you are allowed to offer advice. You don’t get to say, “Sorry, no, I’m going to stay out of it.”
Offer advice when someone asks, that’s appropriate and that’s good. But balance and health is knowing when to offer advice and when to listen empathetically, You’re going to get it, practice a lot, but if you are going to make a default error, default more to the empathy rather than the advice. Practice that for a while and see what happens.